Dutch Metal

Kaoteon – Kaoteon Review

Kaoteon – Kaoteon Review

“With a one-sheet that closed with “FFO: Behemoth, MardukWatain, and My Dying Bride,” I expected competently played blackened death metal… with weepy violins, morose lyrics, or whatever else that could possibly be associated with My Dying Bride that would potentially throw a huge monkey wrench into the classic blackened death metal formula.” If you can dodge a wrench….

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

“Following my last couple of year-end lists, it should now not come as a shock that I spent more time fleshing out my historical knowledge of music than my contemporary knowledge. In honor of my abject failure in keeping my eye on the present, I have received approval to document my ever-deeper plundering of previous decades in an article detailing my favorite older records which I first heard in 2019.” Old things, young ears.

Israthoum – Arrows from Below Review

Israthoum – Arrows from Below Review

“I come to my last writing engagement of the year off the back of reading Grymm’s humbling first post on mental health in metal – and the absolutely incredible reaction to that – as well as wrapping up my TYMHMs and agonizing over my year-end list. It feels somehow anticlimactic to return to ‘normal’ reviewing. That’s no disrespect, however, to today’s subject, a band formed way back in the early 90s in Portugal under the name Grendel, then becoming Geryous, before assuming their current and enduring moniker, Israthoum in 1998.” What’s in a name?

Sammath – Across the Rhine Is Only Death Review

Sammath – Across the Rhine Is Only Death Review

“We see a lot expressed in a painting of shoes. Another artist could paint the shoes and using the same subject express a wholly different outlook. Metal has this habit with war⁠—myriad bands contemplate it and find wildly different elements to paint their sonic portrait, their own vision of the peasant shoes. Sammath sees war in an unforgiving light. Their death-tinged black metal sees war⁠—specifically World War II⁠—as human folly writ large, a senseless mess of faceless killing, death, and destruction with no real resolution.” The true face of war.

Shade of Hatred – Reflection on Ruin Review

Shade of Hatred – Reflection on Ruin Review

“In my mind, there are two strains of melodic death metal. There is the kind that focuses on beauty (like the recent Eternal Storm) and the kind that focuses on raw energy (I would argue Brymir fit in this category). Both strive to infect the masses with sing-along-worthy tunes, but they take different approaches to the goal. Shade of Hatred, a melodic death quintet from the Netherlands, aim for the latter category on their debut full-length Reflection on Ruin.” The melodeath resistance grows.

Burial Remains – Trinity of Deception Review

Burial Remains – Trinity of Deception Review

“Back when I was a snot-nosed n00b, I waxed non-poetically about how old school death metal has never really grabbed me all that hard. Now that I’m a snot-nosed non-n00b, I should probably set the record straight and disclose that the Swedish death metal sound really does have a place in my heart. That Boss HM-2 guitar tone is just so nasty, and when it’s combined with punk rhythms, it can induce an almost trancelike state with its beautifully bouncing beefiness. That sound is what has set a lot of European death metal apart in my Holden eyes, and I almost universally ignore the OSDM bands from my own country because of it.” Benedict Holdeneye.

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

“I am ashamed. Why? Because I almost let this badass record slip through my greedy clutches. You see, my good friend (who we know as Septic ’round these parts) randomly pops in now and again to apprise me on some of his choice metallic discoveries. He introduced Irish/German/Dutch quartet Ascend the Hollow to me and I was instantly hooked. Like, so fast my head spun. I needed to share my excitement for Echoes of Existence with as many people as possible, but how? It would’ve been grand if we received promo, I thought. Then, all of a sudden I received a virtual sucker punch while rooting around the bin—the thing’s been sitting there since the end of April! How in the actual heck did I miss that??? And lo I experienced great embarrassment. I nearly neglected one of the coolest new bands to materialize out of absolute nowhere this year.” Finder of nearly lost things.